After my usual mulling around in the morning, my roommate asked me what I was going to do to which I had no idea. I really don’t seem to plan these trips out very well. Anyway, the Colombian guy from the night before turned out to be my roommate called Sebastian.
One of the most interesting things about hanging out with him was realising how poor we are at speaking each other’s languages. It was a great learning experience for me as I worked on my Spanish for a day while I taught him how to swear in English because my teaching is clearly more useful. We travelled uptown via the main train station (I had to reserve a ticket for a future train before, which took forever) before grabbing another McDonald’s, again out of convenience and because Seb wanted one. Culture.
Once we boarded the train, we checked out the Sagrada Familia from the outside. This was due to you needing to buy tickets for the grand, incomplete building, a day in advance. It’s a shame we couldn’t see from the inside, but we moved on to the Casa Battlo, another architectural masterpiece by Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi.
Again, we couldn’t see it. It was 25 euros to get in. Nah.
Again it was a great place from the outside, but we decided to move from there and to someone that was at least free. Parc Guell. It’s one of the city’s largest green spaces, but also a long way up a hill to get to. One saving grace to exhausted tourists who wouldn’t know what 35 degrees felt like if it hit them in the face, is the outdoor escalators that aid you to the top for the most part.
Once up there, you can see the whole city. The views at Parc Guell are unrivalled. You can see La Rambla in its Central Park-esque form surrounded by looming trees. You can see the busy cranes at La Sagrada Familia and you can see the beach stretching for miles along the Mediterranean Sea. Just down from this viewpoint were a few more. Seb and I walked up to the top before he stopped for a smoke. We befriended a bunch of German girls, all from Turkish and Kurdish backgrounds who were heading to the top as well. I feel like I tell a tale like this often where I just chat about life in their native country, but it’s always cool to meet total strangers and leave them feeling like you gained something out of the conversation.
We took the long walk back down towards the city centre once again. There we bought some food and drinks and got the metro back to the hostel, ready to go out at night.
It was a Friday night, and so came the Summer Solstice Fiesta. It’s basically a big party on the beach to celebrate the longest day of the year (even if a couple of days out on this occasion). Myself and Seb were heading there, along with our new roommate from Italy, Mohammed. Just before we left (my pasta was taking infuriatingly long to cook) we met more people from the hostel going. Two more Italians in Rikhard and Jose as well as a German girl, Elke. Is there a version of the Fantastic Four, Fabulous Five or Magnificent Seven for a sextet? Because we were certainly that. The Splendid Six? The Sexy Six? The Sick AF Six? All the newbies are cool. Good mix.
I was pretty buzzed at first when down at the beach. I had a couple of drinks, danced around and jumped into the ice-cold water like many people there. Then the tiredness kicked in and I needed my bed, despite being five miles from home. Matters were not helped by Seb’s friend hanging out with us, with a whole bunch of Spanish-speaking people.
My Spanish is decent when I can concentrate, but I really just needed my bed at three o’clock. The late nights are catching up. I got the metro myself (they run all night on the Summer Solstice night) and crashed heavily to my bed. Buenas noches.
MCDONALD’S: 7 euros.
GROCERIES: (4 beers, chorizo and croissant): 4 euros.
TRAIN TICKETS: 16 euros (reservation and metro pass).
GIFTS: 2 euros.
Total: 29 euros.
Barca Total: 50 euros. Decent all things considering.
Breakfast: Cereal in hostel, Lunch: McD’s. Dinner: Homemade pasta.